Got a Map?
A daily map is just my slightly more-interesting name variation for my ‘daily schedule’.
Map sounds more adventurous and fun. It’s got that treasure hunt vibe to it – and I’m sure we all like treasure.
In this post, I’ll share with you my daily map, which comes in 3 Parts.
Why do you need a map?
Not having a map will hurt your productivity, since you won’t be setting yourself to aim for anything during that day. Don’t hustle forth blindly.
Your map should be a direct representation of your personal and business system, fused into one.
It should be scalable, organized, and not look like a question mark. You should alway tweak and track how your map is doing for you.
Is it making you happier? Is it bringing you more money?
When you’ve got your personal (health, lifestyle) and business system well designed, your map will be reflect the quality of your life.
More importantly, you need to keep track of everything you’re doing. If you don’t keep track of what you’ve done or where your time went – you’re probably losing a lot of it.
It’s your job to work all this out.
STICK IT THROUGH
You’d be surprised: Most solopreneurs operate without a map – and that’s why most aren’t producing steady results with their journey to becoming a successful entrepreneur.
I bet you’ve outlined your own custom timetable before – only failing to stick it through also.
Your map should always be work in progress. To constantly refine it means that you’re making a conscious effort to upgrade all areas of your business and life.
Why? because one task always seem to overlap into another. Unforseen circumstances crop up (life gets in the way) and your pre-planned schedule is interrupted.
I’ve had times where the time I spent designing graphics or editing a video took longer than expected. It’s your job to set boundaries and strict time limits for each task. That’s why I use an egg-timer.
If a certain task requires more time, schedule it for later – after you’ve finished all the quick-wins.
Find ways to finish all all your quick-win tasks, as soon as possible, without compromising on quality. You should be exceling in this area day-by-day. Delegate whatever you can, so you get more things done and accomplish much more.
A structured day brings order; without order, you run the risk of ‘being all over the place’. That’s never you want to run your business.
BUSY vs. PRODUCTIVE
Don’t mistake being busy for being productive like I did.
Once you’ve designed your own daily map, merge it with strategy.
If you were to travel to another country, the sensible thing would be to hop on a direct flight that takes you there (in the shortest time required), not just book anything with wings and hope it gets you to your destination. Why? because that’s how you save time.
A custom-tailored map will give you order amidst the chaos. it won’t take care of itself though – you have to follow it.
How I Start: Start Steadily
Start with the easy-to-clear things.
I highly recommend that you start your day with quick, easy-to-finish tasks. Usually, these would be the operational/administrative tasks which are easy to manage but must be done. This could be managing your emails, responding to clients.
If you’re a creative, do some sketches. If you write, go on a freeflow session.
Do whatever’s easy for you first. Rev and get your inner engine fired up.
The goal is to quickly finish a few important tasks so you build momentum, the momentum to get shit done.
The first thing I do on my map? Take myself to breakfast. I know that once I have my coffee and some fiber-rich food, I perform exceptionally better 1-2 hours after. It’s good ROI for my mornings. Then, I start writing here at my blog.
The sense of initial progress gives you a sweet compounding effect to do more.
I proceed to managing my team.
I check-in to see how everyone’s doing and review their work. If they need my help, I’m there to offer my help.
Team updates take me 10-20minutes. I’ll touch base with my team during the evening again to handle any questions.
Whatever I’m doing in the morning, I make sure that it ‘warms me up’ for the afternoon and onwards.
Start with whatever is readily manageable and won’t require too much thinking.
Go for a succession of small progress made, not perfection.
Part 2 of my day usually begins in the afternoon.
Revenue seeding is where I do whatever it takes to grow the business. This could be refining your business, marketing campaign, gaining publicity, product development, or training your team, so they can hepl sell more.
If you’re an author, filling up more pages with your words, getting more press, and acquiring more fans will be your revenue-seeding task.
Whatever plants the seed for furture revenue growth, this is the time slot.
Part 3 of my day is all about self-nurturing.
The evening’s where I spend most of my time doing the less intensive tasks. For me, it’s the creative works.
This could span from editing videos, crafting content, to developing new training manuals.
My evenings are also reserved for educational purposes. If there’s one thing you shouldn’t be afraid of becoming addicted to, this is it: learning.
It’s your safest bet for continuous growth, which never dissapointed me, as I’m only setting myself to work smarter next time.
I always have 1-2 books in rotation. One in physical form, the other in audio. I’m learning every time I commute or when I do my late-night walks.
Topics don’t have to be directly related to your business or line of work. Just learn something different. Shop for audiobooks or learn a tutorial online. It’s always good to expose yourself to what other people are doing in different industries. That ‘missing puzzle(s)’ to your business may just be discovered from a podcast.
Not only should you be working on your business, you should always work on yourself.
Now, Go Design Your Map
Our maps will not look identical. You can adopt and build-on my 3-part map, but you’ll have your own set of routines and daily requirements.
Find out what works for you. Run it, test it, re-design it where necessary.
Map your day out with well defined, time-imposed goals. Make sure they’re measurable. Always be clear with what the fvck is going on.
Ensure that your map is dotted with a list of things-to-do that’ll contribute to your personal and business growth.
Only then, can you sleep knowing you’re heading in the right direction.